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Guidance for the assessment of special care centres (SCU)

Status: Published on

Updated September 2020


This guidance relates to designated centres to which the Health Act 2007 (Care and Welfare of Children in Special Care units) Regulations 2017 and the National Standards for Special Care Units apply.


This guidance should be used in conjunction with the revised assessment judgment framework, which is one of the tools HIQA uses to assess compliance with the regulations and standards. The assessment judgment framework supports inspectors in gathering evidence when monitoring or assessing a designated centre and to make judgments on compliance.

Inspectors will use this guidance alongside the assessment judgment framework. The purpose of the guidance is to provide additional supporting information to inspectors on assessing compliance and offer guidance on reviewing each regulation and standard.

Furthermore, this guidance facilitates a consistent approach to conducting inspections by:

  • supporting inspectors in developing a clear understanding of the regulations
  • providing direction to providers and persons in charge on the type of findings that could demonstrate evidence of compliance and non-compliance.